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I am writing an essay on Buddhist nonattachment, in which I argue that nonattachment is compatible with a wide range of affective states and intimate relationships (contra some popular philosophical conceptions, which are greatly influenced by Stoicism). The account of Buddhist nonattachment I offer stresses an attitude of open-minded acceptance of whatever mental state arises, without attraction or aversion -- without indulging or suppressing it.

In more than one place I have heard mention of a sutta in which the Buddha describes his mental states and attitudes when he teaches the Dhamma, and his audience either understands or fails to understand. From what I've heard, he says something along the lines that he is pleased when people understand the Dhamma and displeased when they do not; however, his is not overcome by those mental states. This is not a direct quote, only the impression left in my memory. Does this sound familiar? Can anyone help me find this sutta?

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There is this

For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality and dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and if others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me." SN 6.1: Ayacana Sutta: The Request

Also this

“Monks, if others were to speak in dispraise of me, in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, neither hatred nor antagonism nor displeasure of mind would be proper. If others were to speak in dispraise of me, in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, and at that you would be upset and angered, that would be an obstruction for you yourselves. If others were to speak in dispraise of me, in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, and at that you would be upset and angered, would you know what of those others was well-said or poorly said?”

“No, lord.”

“If others were to speak in dispraise of me, in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Saṅgha, you should unravel and explicate what is unfactual as unfactual: ‘This is unfactual, this is inaccurate, there is nothing of that in us, and that is not to be found in us.’

“If others were to speak in praise of me, in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, neither joy nor gladness nor exhilaration of mind would be proper. If others were to speak in praise of me, in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, and at that you would be joyful, glad, & exhilarated, that would be an obstruction for you yourselves. If others were to speak in praise of me, in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Saṅgha, and at that you would be joyful, glad, & exhilarated, would you know what of those others was well-said or poorly said?”

“No, lord.”

“If others were to speak in praise of me, in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should unravel and explicate what is factual as factual: ‘This is factual, this is accurate, there is that in us, and that is to be found in us.’ DN1: Brahmajala Sutta: The Great Net

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MN 137 https://lucid24.org/mn/mn137/index.html#7 7 - (The teacher -buddha- uses 3 types of sati, to illustrate upekkha reaction) 7.1 – (bad disciples) 7.2 – (some good some bad disciples) 7.3 – (all good disciples)

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How about this?

If the teacher understands the meaning and the teaching, then that's a good enough reason to teach.

If the audience understands the meaning and the teaching, then that's a good enough reason to teach. Here, whether the teacher fully understands the teaching, appears to be optional.

If both teacher and audience understand the meaning and the teaching, then that's a good enough reason to teach.

“Mendicants, taking three reasons into consideration provides quite enough motivation to teach Dhamma to another. What three? When the teacher understands the meaning and the teaching. When the audience understands the meaning and the teaching. When both the teacher and the audience understand the meaning and the teaching.

Taking these three reasons into consideration provides quite enough motivation to teach Dhamma to another.”
AN 3.43

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    Hi ruben2020, thank you for your response and editing my tags. Unfortunately, the passage you cite is not the one I'm looking for. Notice that the passage you cite is not discussing the Buddha's response to his audience either understanding or not understanding his teaching and him being pleased or displeased (respectively) yet remaining equanimous, as I am looking for; instead, your cited passage describes reasons/motivations for teaching the Dhamma. Is the difference clear? Thank you again! May 17 at 21:18
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    To reiterate and clarify, the passage that I am looking for consists of the Buddha describing to one of his disciples (I believe it might be one of his attendants, possibly Sariputta or Ananda) that when he teaches the Dhamma, and the audience does not understand, he is displeased. Conversely, when he teaches the Dhamma, and his audience does understand, he is pleased. However, in either case, the Buddha says that he is not ‘overcome’ or ‘overwhelmed’ by these mental states, rather he remains equanimous in the face of either. Do this help at all? This is not verbatim, merely the gist. May 17 at 21:32

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